Joe Prunty becomes new GB men’s coach

British Basketball have today announced American Joe Prunty as the new head coach of the Great Britain men’s side.

Prunty, a former assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers takes over the reigns from Chris Finch, who announced his departure after Great Britain were eliminated from the London Olympics. Prunty will lead the GB squad through this summer’s Eurobasket into qualification to Rio 2016.

“It is truly an honour to be appointed as head coach of the Great Britain men’s national team,” Prunty said in an official statement.

“Every person I have spoken with has shown tremendous passion and enthusiasm for the programme. This is an important time for GB Basketball and the opportunity for all of us is extremely exciting heading into Eurobasket 2013.

“I am grateful to all the people involved who have entrusted me with this position. I am looking forward to working with the players, coaches, and staff members who comprise the GB family.”

The American’s appointment has come under criticism though due to his lack of international coaching experience and overall shortage of competitive coaching in general, where Prunty has only coached in the NBA summer league for the Portland Trailblazers in 2008 and 2009.

While Prunty’s assistants have yet to be named, the Great Britain staff for this year will be Bill Beswick as performance psychologist, as he prepares for his first time, working with the senior men across their summer campaign.

Beswick has worked in a similar role for England Rugby, the England football team and high profile sides including Manchester United Football Club. Beswick also has a basketball background having previously been head coach to the England men’s team.

Calvin Morris has been appointed as the strength and conditioning coach following his work at England Rugby and with the UK Athletics programme and their Olympic athletes. Mark Gillett returns to his post as head of science and medicine while Fraser McKinney also comes back to the team as physiotherapist. Mark Lloyd will take up the position of team manager for the senior men’s side.